The Monkey King 2: Will There be a Sequel?

Based on the classic Chinese fantasy tale ‘Journey to the West,’ Netflix’s ‘The Monkey King’ is an animated action-comedy film directed by Anthony Stacchi. The film reinvents the titular trickster – the Monkey King, as an antihero who embarks on a quest to ascend to Heaven and join the Immortal Ones. However, the Monkey King is misguided by his arrogance and steered onto the right path by his friend, Lin, a young girl seeking to make a difference. If the emotional and heartfelt film sparked an interest in the adventures of the Monkey King, you must be wondering whether the story will continue in a sequel. In that case, allow us to share everything we know about the possibility of ‘The Monkey King 2.’ SPOILERS AHEAD!

Will The Monkey King 2 Happen?

‘The Monkey King’ was released on August 18, 2023, on Netflix. The film held its world premiere at the New York Asian Film Festival on July 30, 2023. It received mostly mixed reviews from critics upon release. The movie was praised for bringing modern sensibilities, humor, and cultural mashup to the classic folktale, while its over-stylized animation sequences and pacing received some criticism. The film ends with the Buddha appearing to humble the Monkey King, who is driven by his hubris and wants to overthrow the Immortal Ones. The Buddha seals the Monkey King in a stone cave until the latter can learn humility and respect. The final moments see a trio of travelers freeing the Monkey King after five hundred years of penance.

The movie’s ending clearly sets up the story for a second installment to continue the adventures of the Monkey King. The movie is based on the Chinese folktale ‘Journey to the West,’ which comprises over a hundred chapters. However, the movie only adapts the first seven chapters from the original book. Therefore, there is plenty of source material for the makers to adapt in a potential sequel. Producer Peilin Chou has stated that the movie’s ending was meant to set up a sequel and expressed an interest in producing future installments that adapt the further chapters of the source material. However, Chou also stated that the decision to greenlight a sequel rests with the studio and Netflix.

Currently, Netflix is yet to announce plans for a second installment. However, it is still early days since the movie’s release, and the streaming giant will likely take some time to assess its performance before deciding on future installments. If the film exceeds Netflix’s viewership expectations and proves to be a hit with its subscribers, a second installment could materialize. Moreover, given the success of previous works based on ‘Journey to the West,’ the chances of a sequel coming to fruition seem pretty high. Assuming Netflix greenlit a sequel in the coming months and the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes reach a resolution, production on the potential sequel could commence in 2024. Therefore, we can expect to see ‘The Monkey King 2’ release sometime in Q3 of 2025, at the earliest.

The second installment will likely introduce characters such as Tang Sanzang, Zhu Bajie, and Sha Wujing from the source material as they embark on a journey to find sacred Buddhist texts. The Monkey King and Sanzang will likely form a strong bond while the former learns to use his powers to protect others and bring peace. Meanwhile, the group of pilgrims will also face powerful forces of evil, demons, spirits, and monsters. Most of the main voice cast from the first film comprising Jimmy O. Yang (Monkey King), Bowen Yang (Dragon King), BD Wong (Buddha), Hoon Lee (Jade Emperor), and Andrew Kishino (King Yama), are likely to reprise their roles for ‘The Monkey King 2.’

Read More: Is The Monkey King (2023) Based on a Book?